Monday, January 25, 2010

Next Weekend I'm Expecting Locusts.


It started on Thursday with the ice machine, my favorite household appliance.  One minute there were lovely half-moon cubes tumbling on demand from the door of the refrigerator, and the next, no cubes, no matter how insistently I pushed the little paddle in with my glass. For awhile the refrigerator still made that grinding sound that meant here come the cubes!, but soon even that pretense was abandoned, and everything was silent.

Little did I know that lukewarm, European-style beverages were to be the least of my troubles.

Friday night the flood came.  I was in the shower singing show tunes and checking for moles when I heard a pounding noise coming from somewhere in the house. I stopped singing to listen, and it stopped.   Hmmm.  Must have imagined it. I went back to my singing. More distant pounding.

Then the pounding got really loud, and my husband burst through the door, (Which I had locked. A lady needs privacy) his eyes wild, a vein bulging in his forehead.

"Water!!" he yelled over the sound of the shower.

Thank you, Captain Obvious! I thought. Men.

"Flood!" he yelled, and pointed to the floor, which I now saw was covered in an inch of water.  Where did that come from? 

Then, with a little flourish, he opened the door to the narrow elevator- shaft-room that houses the toilet, and the contents of Hoover Dam poured out.

Oh.  Flood.  Flood!  I did some naked panicking then, running in little circles in the shower while I thought what to do, and my husband disappeared from the room, presumably leaving me to drown while clutching my soap bar.

I knew I had to do something (shower time was over), and luckily I was already wet so opening the shower door and swimming through the rapids in my bathroom was easy enough.  The rest of the night was not.

Downstairs, in the kitchen, a waterfall was pouring from each of the three light fixtures. One of the lights  sparked and crackled festively before going dark and emitting curls of black smoke from under its shade.

The dog's dish was filling up with water and bloated kibble.

Then from the garage, like an avenger, came the husband, festooned with vacuum hoses and old towels, a look of grim determination on his face.

After that it was all night with the shop vac sucking up gallons of water from the upstairs floor/kitchen ceiling, and mopping, and then floor heaters pointed at the ceiling in an effort to prevent the drywall from buckling and swooping like a Salvador Dali painting, ( or just sloughing off onto the floor altogether) and a little bit of swearing and maybe some gentle weeping.

About three in the morning, when we went to turn the heat up to help dry the ceiling, we discovered that the furnace had joined ranks with the ice maker and the toilet, and had given up normal operations.

No heat.

Not only was it wet and cold outside (Stormwatch 2010!!), it was wet and cold inside, and likely to stay that way.

We went to bed.

The next morning, after dreaming I was riding a giant lizard through the park, I awoke to the sounds of my husband in the hallway, banging on assorted furnace innards with his manly- man tools.

The husband is part MacGyver, and has already managed to get our elderly furnace running again two winters in a row, so I had reason to believe he could get it to work, at least for awhile.

And, he did! It was nice and warm for a couple of hours.

Until the fireball.

Apparently one thing MacGyver forgot was to bypass the thingamajig that regulates the timer on the whatchamacallit. This is bad, because forgetting this leads to gas being pumped out willynillly,too many seconds before the igniter ignites, resulting in a house-rattling explosion.

Cats hate fireballs.

Especially when the flames throw the door to the furnace open with shocking force and then shoot out to lick the edges of the Tower of Babel cat tree in which they are reclining.


After that it was all anticlimactic, fortunately.  The cats escaped intact (one flaming animal per week is our limit)

the Tower of Babel remains, and the house has not burned to the ground. The kitchen ceiling decided to stick around. The house has a slight indoor-swimming pool smell to it, but I'm hoping that will go away.

Best of all, a two hour drive to see an amused appliance parts salesman (originally from Turks and Caicos)  yielded fresh components for the ice maker and the furnace.  The toilet has received a stern talking-to.

Also, the rain storm outside, after depositing 400 inches of rain into our backyard, has left for Arizona.


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The week is looking up.

35 comments:

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Now, you know I blasphemed my way through Catholic school and that my religious education is patchy at best, but weren't the signs of the apocalypse: Fire (check), Flood (check!), locusts/lizards same diff (check!), disease (you feel ok?), rainbows (for the love of God, not the rainbows), ice cube famine, and of course, festooned (nice!)

Oh, you're screwed. I'm so glad I'm on the other side of the 101.

sas said...

'cats hate fireballs'

this should be inscribed on a tablet somewhere as a universal truth.

Jules said...

I would agree that cats TYPICALLY hate fireballs. But since yours set fire to your dog last week, I thought maybe yours would enjoy the show....

Now WATER on the other hand...YOUR dog could have taken advantage of.

CatLadyLarew said...

Damn! Talk about a crappy night! Good luck with the clean-up.

Chelle said...

I still have 47 borrowed coolers in my garage from when my diningroom ceiling developed toilet-water filled pimples.

I don' think I'll ever return them to their owners. Think of the picnic I could assemble!

diane said...

God Vic, you've had a rough time. I would have been a weeping puddle, indistinguishable from the rest of the flood.
That's the best cat pic ever. Is that leg out possibly checking for a water level?
My word ver. is tunka, which might be the sound dying furnaces and ice makers make.

miss. chief said...

oh no. THIS is why I don't have an upstairs. So I don't have to deal with ceiling-bathroom flood problems.

Not because I just weasled my way into dr.claw's no-upstairsy house. Nope. I planned it this way.

Logical Libby said...

You should have just stayed in the shower. Yes, you would have gotten pruny, but it sounds like it was the only safe place.

erin said...

I would have just collapsed into a little ball and cried. Then I would have called my daddy to come help us...

Which is odd because my dad is essentially useless when it comes to anything handy. Jeremiah, on the other hand is very handy and more than capable of handling these things on his own. Yet I still call my dad and bawl about how hard everything is for me.

Vic's Comment Box=Erin's Psychoanalysis of the Week

Shieldmaiden96 said...

God bless your handy husband. We had a dump pump failure once and mine ended up in the basement screaming like a little girl. I was the one that got to be baptized in fresh sewage.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

Sorry. SUMP pump.
Its hooked to the sanitary sewer line. Long story involving a wet basement and the MacGyvering skills of my landlord.

just making my way said...

The question is - while working on the furnace does your husband do his best "darlgoneit^#^%RGDFlh" imitation of The Old Man from A Christmas Story?

kate said...

The kitchen sink in my very first grown up apartment decided to vomit up smelly black liquid one night...there's nothing like having the emergency maintainace crew rocking a shop-vac in your closet sized kitchen at 2am while your apartment takes on a moldy/barfy smell from the skanky water. I hope that this week is slightly less dramatic... :)

Summer said...

I'm sorry. That sucks. That's weird though. Why is it weird you ask? Well in August our house flooded (while we were on vacation) from a burst pipe in the wall. Then we we were all dried out, our fridge just decided it didn't want to participate at all. AT ALL. And it didn't care about all our meat. Then the garbage disposal turned into a weird sounding monster. No fires though. When all this was going on, I wanted to just run away. Hope everything gets back in control.

Pearl said...

I realize that all of this was bad bad bad, but you are just funny. :-) I really do enjoy your writing, Vic.

Ya weirdo. :-D

Pearl

diane said...

Logical Libby's got a great point. Wish I had thought of it first.

Peggy said...

Rock the homeowners insurance and get yourself a nice new remodel!

-Susie Sunshine

Caroline said...

O no. I would be curled up in the corner in a foetal position, all whimpery and shivery. Am terrified, almost phobic, of appliance rebellion. If I could PAY them to behave, I would!

Of course, I'm not married to MacGuyver, either. Lucky Vic! My husband's kind of a cross between Dwight Schrute and the Cat In The Hat. I live in perpetual fear of explosions.

Jay Ferris said...

I'm not one to typically believe in karma... but you must have done something pretty awful to Bob Vila to warrant such repercussions. Although it's a positive that your toilet wasn't belching up #1 and #2 along with all that water.

Ed Adams said...

This could have turned out bad in so many ways, but thankfully it all came out good.

Sorry, I was talking about a hang nail I was just messing with.


Oh, yeah, good post Vic. Glad you're still alive.

Amanda said...

When it rains, it pours. Literally and figuratively I guess. Bad things happen in 3's right? Maybe it's just a couple sets of 3's and now you're home free. Hope it gets better!

Harna said...

Holy shit, dude. Floods and fireballs in one day is exhausting. Maybe you should check into a hotel.

Eric said...

I admire your continued ability to breathe given all the electrocution, drowning, fire and explosion scenarios.

linlah said...

I talk to my toilet on a regular basis and I live in a single story house.

Megs said...

Have you checked the land records? Are you built on an ancient Indian burial ground?

Be careful of the t.v. It may be a portal to another dimension.

Dawn said...

So glad you had a MacGyver handy. The man here would have totally been running around with a roll of duct tape and a butter knife. And screaming. Oh, the screaming. Good luck in drying out, and I don't mean in a Betty Ford kind of way.

Kurt said...

I have a tattoo that says "cats hate fireballs" only with cruder language and there is definitely a sexual innuendo in there.

Claire said...

Wow!! That sucks, huh??
Damn!!

Miss Yvonne said...

I've been worrying about my old refrigerator/washer/dryer/car/garbage disposal breaking down. And now I read this and I'm freaking out because I probably started something bad just by reading about your perfect storm and omg I probably have a burst pipe at home right I have to go!!!!

LiLu said...

I feel so much better about the mold we found crawling all over our dining room wall now.

At least it's not OUR dining room wall. Lawsuit, here I come, landlord!

ShoesFit said...

I don't even know what to say; yet again, your misfortunes (or at least how you describe them) caused me to belly laugh.

My youngest son read it with me and said, "Why does all the cool stuff happen to THEM?" He then proceeded to tell me that, compared to your family, his life is SO boring.

What could I say? I can't compete with flood, fire, and multiple broken appliances all in one sitting!

@eloh said...

I just want the name of the last individual to use said toilet.

I think we all have already figured out who that was....

Margo said...

If the rain would just stop in Arizona and stay there. I hear it's really dry there. Home ownership is such a racket! I swear next time we're renting. I don't like thinking of all the hidden things in our house that are making trouble. Miss you terribly! For some reason you weren't updating on my page but no worries - you are now.

Tgoette said...

Well, at least nothing bad happened. LOL! Great post!

Fragrant Liar said...

Holy Mother of God (I don't normally call on her, but his situation is apropos), you're lucky you came out alive!

At least I hope so. It's been a week since you last blogged. Not that I'm keeping track of you, but . . . Okay, I am, but . . .

Oh, and thanks for the rain!